Friday, October 19, 2007

Homeward Bound

Change is in the air, and the excitement of it is beginning to become real! There are only 52 days until we leave Namibia to begin our one year of furlough. At the end of each term of service, AGWM missionaries are required to return to the USA for one year of furlough and itineration.

What is itineration? The word itineration is the noun form of the verb itinerate which means: to travel from place to place or on a circuit. You see, AGWM missionaries are funded by individuals and local churches. Each missionary has a set budget dependent upon where they will be stationed, the needs of the family, and the work in which they will be involved. It really is fairly simple. Your budget is set, and then all you have to do is itinerate (travel from place to place). We share our needs with people and churches and pray that they will partner with us in two ways. The first, and by far the most important, is prayer. Each missionary needs an army of prayer warriors backing them up in all their endeavors. The second is money. Missionaries are “sent” by others. Individuals and churches make faith promises (pledges) of X number of dollars per month in support of the missionary. When enough pledges are promised and the predetermined budget is reached, the missionary is allowed to go to the field and begin the harvest of souls. It really is quite simple.

The furlough is also a time to reconnect with family and loved ones. A regular missionary term is 4 years (the regular term for first-term missionaries is 3 years). It is also a time of rest and relaxation. I really haven’t figured this one out yet. How one can rest and relax when one is traveling from place to place.

In only 52 days Fredna and I will begin our journey back to Texas, family and friends! One of the first things I will do upon arrival will be to find a really good Mexican restaurant and do my best to founder on Mexican cuisine. If I fail at this, I have a back-up plan. I will seek out the nearest What-A-Burger and order a #2 cheeseburger combo, cut the onions and include a diet Dr Pepper.

It will be difficult to leave the people here in Namibia. God has really given us a love and burden for the people of every tribe here. We also love the country; it seconds only to Texas! Only time and eternity will reveal the accomplishments of our work here for the past 3 years. We trust that we have been successful, but then you must define success. I believe that being faithful to God and remaining faithful in the work to which He has called you is success. If that is true, we have been successful this term! Our area director once told us that he considered a missionary’s first term successful IF the missionary returned to the field for the second term. If that is true, we have been successful!

We truly are humbled and grateful for the opportunity to touch thousands of lives here in Namibia with the love of God. Some heard the Gospel for the very first time, others were called back into a life of holiness, and yet others were able to embark upon a journey – the journey of a life walking with God. Some will never forget the shirumbus (white man) who came from America and touched their lives for a season. I know that these shirumbus will never forget them!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Battlefield of the Mind

A few nights ago I preached at one of the local churches at the invitation of the pastor. This pastor has been a good friend and brother since our arrival in Otjiwarongo, and this was not the first time that I had been invited to speak.

I was asked to address the topic, "The Battlefield of the Mind." This was an incredible opportunity to speak into the lives of about 30-40 young people (20-35 years old). Superstition abounds in this part of Africa as well as animism. Not long ago a young man came to me for prayer because there was a squirrel or a cat on his roof at night. As strange as this may sound, the young man was not sleeping, and he was not able to eat. He was actually physically sick over the situation. He believed that someone had put a spell on him and his family.

At the beginning of the service I asked everyone present to write on paper three things that were bothering them or troubling them in their mind. At the end of the service, after I had addressed issues and answers from a Biblical perspective, we took those papers and began to give thanks to God for deliverance in each issue. You could tell that a heaviness was being lifted from most of them. God was really doing a work in their hearts.

After praising God for His goodness, we took those papers and burned them as a symbol of God's deliverance in each life. It was a great time!